New Orleans Saints’ strong preseason performance could see them turn the tide on ‘least supportive fanbase’ ranking
- • A new ranking has revealed which NFL fanbases are the most and least supportive – with the New Orleans Saints named one of the teams with the least dedicated supporters
- • Since 2020, their fans have shown a 28% loss in interest in how the Saints are performing year-on-year – the second-biggest drop of any team in the league, other than the Cleveland Browns
- • However, an impressive preseason performance against the Kansas City Chiefs on Sunday could see the tide turn, with Google searches around the team skyrocketing 809% after the game
- • The Kansas City Chiefs saw a slightly lower rise in interest at 223% – but they don’t need to work as hard to maintain fan enthusiasm, as they have the sixth moat-dedicated fanbases in the NFL
A new ranking has revealed which NFL team has maintained fan interest over the last five seasons – with the New Orleans Saints coming in second as the team with the least supportive fans.
Researchers at Canada Sports Betting created the ranking, which looked at the volume behind over 500 keywords related to NFL teams over the last five years – touching on all aspects of being a fan, including searching for upcoming fixtures, purchasing tickets and merchandise, and catching up on team performance.
And it turns out that just over two-fifths (42%) of teams see a loss in fan backing from the start of the season to the end each year, as their performance fails to inspire their supporters. But while other teams have bounced back after a poor performance, no team has seen a bigger loss in interest than the Cleveland Browns, with fan support dropping by an average of 34% between seasons.
Overall, the average NFL fan has seen a 19% annual loss of interest in how their favorite team is doing over the past three years – meaning the Browns’ fan base is almost twice as unsupportive as the average football fan, unfortunately for Head Coach Kevin Stefanski.
Following the Browns as the team with the second-least supportive fans is the New Orleans Saints, with the data showing their fans’ interest decreases by over a quarter (28%) each year, as their performances fail to inspire.
Over the last three years, the biggest drop in fan interest on a league-wide scale occurred after the 2022 season – which saw the Kansas City Chiefs crowned champions.
However, we could see a turn in the tide this year, as the Saints’ impressive preseason performance against the Kansas City Chiefs has prompted an 809% surge in Google searches, as fans look to catch up on the game’s highlights and check the final score.
The Saints beat the Chiefs 26-24 in their first preseason game on Sunday, with fans seemingly newly-inspired by players’ form – especially that of ex-Cowboys and Giants linebacker Jaylon Smith, who saw searches increase by 2,050% after the game.
And while it’s too early to see whether this rise in fan enthusiasm will continue through to September, it certainly seems promising – especially given the Kansas City Chiefs saw a smaller 223% uptick in interest after the game, despite having more dedicated fans overall. In fact, the Chiefs rank sixth for the most supportive fanbases, seeing an 18% rise in interest from season to season.
It’s especially interesting given that the team that ranks highest for the most supportive fanbase – the Cincinnati Bengals – only saw a 175% rise in fan backing after their preseason game against the Green Bay Packers.
The team that has seen the most consistent fan interest over the last three years came out as the Los Angeles Chargers, with keyword volume only fluctuating by 2% year-on-year.
The ten teams with the most supportive fanbases, versus their preseason rise in interest
There’s plenty of opportunity for the Saints to capitalize on this rise in fan interest, the data shows, with the team typically seeing a 40% rise in fan support throughout August just before the NFL season gets into full swing.
While this isn’t the most significant rise in preseason support – with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers seeing a huge 392% surge in fan interest before September – it still shows that the New Orleans Saints’ fanbase are keen to see how their team starts the season.
Speaking on the findings, a Canada Sports Betting spokesperson said: “For the NFL, team support is everything – it can make a huge difference in how players perform on the pitch, and also becomes a key discussion point among fans when socializing or watching the game in a public setting. It’s impressive that the Cincinnati Bengals have managed to maintain their fans’ interest in their performance, and also that they’ve seen such a significant year-on-year increase – they’re doing something right to captivate and keep their audience’s attention.
“Despite there being a constant debate over whose fans are the most loyal or the most passionate, it’s clear that we can see who’s actively seeking out news about their team online. It’s also interesting to see that the New Orleans Saints have seen such a positive increase in fan interest after their preseason performance – and it remains to be seen whether this will prompt fans to show more support for their team as the new season approaches.”
Data gathered from Google Keywords Explorer and Google Trends.
Full NFL Team Ranking: Most Supportive Fanbases
|Rank||Team||Annual % Change|
|3||San Francisco 49ers||33.72|
|6||Kansas City Chiefs||17.78|
|8||New York Giants||7.92|
|9||New York Jets||7.90|
|13||Los Angeles Rams||4.20|
|14||Los Angeles Chargers||-2.02|
|19||Las Vegas Raiders||-11.27|
|22||Green Bay Packers||-15.44|
|28||New England Patriots||-26.10|
|29||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||-26.64|
|30||New Orleans Saints||-28.27|
Note: the Washington Commanders were discounted from the ranking due to a low keyword volume.